Kara (Re-)Visits Hulu's Jason Kilar, Just as Site Becomes No. 6!

Published on December 10, 2008
by Kara Swisher

While recently in Los Angeles, I paid another visit to Jason Kilar, who has been quietly making the Hulu premium online video service one of the brightest spots in the Web 2.0 space.

The joint venture between News Corp. (NWS) and General Electric (GE) media unit NBC Universal has shown an astonishing growth since its launch in late 2007.

Yesterday, for example, comScore reported that it had risen to No. 6 in online video market share in October, after big players like the Google (GOOG) video service YouTube, Microsoft (MSFT) and Yahoo (YHOO), and in front of both Disney (DIS) and Time Warner (TWX) online unit AOL.

According to comScore (SCOR), Hulu served up 235.1 million videos in the month, grabbing a 1.7 percent market share, while Google sites garner 39.7 percent of the share and No. 2 Fox Interactive Media sites just 3.8 percent.

In addition, the October comScore numbers showed that Hulu has almost 24 million unique monthly visitors, who watch an average of almost 10 videos.

While it is not quite a little-engine-that-could story–after all, it has access to some of the most popular premium content, such as “The Simpsons”–Hulu’s fast growth and innovative experimentation with advertising in online video is being watched carefully by Internet and media players alike.

While some still don’t agree with its strategy of creating a one-stop destination site and think both News Corp. (owner of this site) and NBC Universal should send its content far and wide (the “promiscuous” strategy of players like CBS), others wait for the most massive video site of all–YouTube–to introduce some sort of premium service as a copy of Hulu very soon.

Already, YouTube has been trying to add on more premium offerings in its main juggernaut, even though the bulk of its popularity is due to short videos and user-generated content. But such inroads have been harder for Google, given the continued antipathy–and fear–toward it by Hollywood.

Not so for the homegrown Hulu, which has its HQ in Santa Monica, surrounded by a gang of entertainment and Internet outfits.

So, here’s my latest video interview with Kilar about where Hulu is going next (with two videos from my previous visit in April below it):

Please see this disclosure related to me and Google.

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